Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux were the goalscorers as the U.S. women's national team won again Friday at the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal, setting up a rematch Monday with Women's World Cup champion Japan for a spot in the championship game.
Wambach, who has a home in Hermosa Beach, scored in the 51st minute, and three-time UCLA All-American Leroux doubled the advantage from former USC star (from Lake Forest) Amy Rodriguez's feed in the 81st as the Americans beat Norway, 2-1, to improve to 2-0-0, same as the Japanese. The winner of Sunday's Group B finale, or the U.S. if it's a draw, will advance to Wednesday's title game.
Japan rallied twice from deficits against the U.S., once in overtime, then won on penalties in the WWC title game last year in Germany.
Wambach, the women's game's No. 2 all-time scorer (behind Mia Hamm), netted her 133rd international goal. Leroux's was her seventh, all this year.
The U.S. has won eight Algarve titles since 2000, including seven of the last nine. Germany in 2006 and Sweden in 2009 overcame the Americans on penalties in the final.